Will broody hens adopt chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CESpeed, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. CESpeed

    CESpeed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2012
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    I really want to have a couple of mommas because I want a continual meat supply as well as eggs. If I purchase a full grown hen and introduce her to some chicks that I buy from hatchery, will she raise them? I realize there are no guarantees and I should have a brooderr ready just in case, but is there a good chance a hen will take to the babies?

    If it helps I'm planning on a flock of Australorps. If a hen will take them how many should I adopt to her?

    Thank you for your input!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Simple answer: BROODY hens may adopt chicks, mature hens who have not gone broody will not, nor will they adopt chicks when not broody.

    The mothering instinct starts with broodiness.
     
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You can't just throw a hen and some chicks together and expect her to mother them. If she were broody (which is a behavior of sitting on eggs to hatch them), then you could try chick adoption. But not all hens go broody, not even if they're a breed that's considered prone to broodiness. If you want to encourage it, you can try things like offering a darkened nest area full of eggs (it doesn't matter if they're real or not). If you can get a hen from someone who is unhappy with her because she goes broody too often, then you've got a decent shot at her going broody once she's settled into her new home.
     
  4. chicks are me

    chicks are me Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sometimes, but if you have any chance of a broody hen to raise chicks that were hatched either not from her or from a hatchery you should know how many she can raise ( some breeds will only raise 6 where other breeds will raise up to 10 chicks ) and put the chicks under her at night.
     
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